Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ex- foreign minister’s passport confiscated

The Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) Tuesday seized the passport used by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Akwasi Osei Adjei.The former minister is being questioned by the BNI for his alleged role in the importation of rice from India, which was allegedly paid for by the National Investment Bank.Mr Osei Adjei has expressed surprise about the turn of event and told Citi FM on Tuesday that he has still not come to terms with why the BNI invited him.“I was called to produce my passport and that to me was amazing because I have not been charged, I was invited to clarify a point and to be asked to submit my passport is something else.“We pleaded, that is not the right way to do things; instead of asking me to produce the passport, what they did was to accompany me to my house after telling them I could do it on my own.”Tuesday was the second time the former legislator and minister has been queried by the security agency since the new administration took office.However, he said the BNI informed him that he in person is not under any investigation but stated that all the questions they asked him centred on “the same rice importation”.He explained that his outfit was “mandated by (then) President Kufuor” to facilitate the transaction to beef up the country’s food security at the height of the food crisis.Even though Mr Osei Adjei could not tell the amount involved in the deal, media reports put it at $10million.“What worries me is that you go to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, it wasn’t done because of me Osei Adjei, all the papers pertaining to the transaction it wasn’t signed by me in the first place.“So just because I was the foreign minister at that time, yes I accept it, it was done through ministry, the ministry is an institution of itself so you have a memory there, you could go there, examine all the papers, examine how the rice came in; they are all there.Nobody is asking the NBI to come forward how did you import the rice, nobody is asking even the ministry to ask them, nobody is prepared to go to the India High Commission to see how India helped us in getting that rice, nobody is asking our High Commissioner in new Delhi…but everybody is pointing accusing fingers on Osei Adjei because he was the Foreign Minister.”
Source:jfm/Citi FM

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